Assessing challenges faced by upgraded rural secondary schools in implementing the vocational career pathway in the 2013 revised curriculum in Kabompo district, Zambia.

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Chulu, Cecilia
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The University of Zambia
The study sought to assess the challenges faced by upgraded rural secondary schools in implementing the 2013 vocational career pathway in the revised curriculum in Kabompo District, Zambia. The objectives of the study, were to: establish the availability of appropriate infrastructure, equipment, teaching and learning resources in up-graded rural secondary schools in the implementation of the vocational career pathway in 2013 revised curriculum in Kabompo District ; assess the availability of specialist teachers in selected upgraded secondary schools of Kabompo District ; and explore the measures school administration can put in place to enhance effective implementation of the 2013 revised curriculum in upgraded secondary school of Kabompo District . The study used the phenomenology study design which employed the qualitative strategy in order to effectively address the issues raised by the research questions. The method of data collection included in-semi structured interview guide, semi structured focus group discussion guide and observation checklist. The target population included two District Education Board Officers, four Head Teachers from four selected upgraded rural secondary schools, four Deputy Head teachers, twenty –four Head of departments and sections, four Guidance and Counselling teachers and twenty four teachers. Purposive sampling techniques were used to select 62 respondents. Data were analysed qualitatively. This involved explanation and interpretation of the raw data. The findings of the study revealed that some of the infrastructure, resources facilities were in a bad state and were too inadequate to accommodate the increasing number of learners, in addition the schools have no accommodation for teachers . Classroom blocks in all the schools were those previously meant for primary schools and hence very inadequate and not spacious. Equipment and teaching and learning resources were also in short supply and to some instances they were not available to implement the vocational career pathway effectively. The findings further indicate shortage of specialists‟ teachers‟ to handle vocational career pathway, in some subjects, teachers have been seconded to teacher without the methodology. Schools lacked laboratories, teaching and learning material. However, the findings also indicate that schools were not just siting idol. Schools were doing something about this situation. The Parents‟ Teacher Association in collaboration with school administration had started to build classroom blocks and also lobbying from Constituency Development fund to help in building new classroom blocks. The study concluded that the implementation of the vocational career pathway was being implemented in very difficult circumstances. The old infrastructure being used was also bad and inadequate. If the government did not intervene now education provision in the vocational career pathway will not be up to date and learning will not be taking place. The state will have graduates without the skills, knowledge and a changed behaviour to fit in any society beyond Zambia. Based on these findings the study recommends that the government should first allocate some initial funding for infrastructure, equipment, teaching and learning resources and specialists before upgrading a primary school into a secondary school.
Vocational career pathway. , Rural schools--Challenges.